For those of you who work in figurative sculpture, or are art doll makers, or just like to putz around in an artsy way this post is for you. If you don't fit into the categories above this post may just be a yawn. Sorry.
The following is a comparison of my experiences using three different products. Paper mache`, Creative Paper Clay, and paper clay recipe.
In my Cloth and Clay group I have a discussion going about a paper clay recipe vs. purchasing the manufactured paper clay. I wanted an alternative to the little bricks and my dependency on whether or not my local hobby stores would have it in stock or not. And, truthfully, at the time with a rather large sculpture in mind I knew I would eat through those little blocks in a wallet blowing way.
In asking around one of my fellow Cloth and Clay members hooked me up with a link to a website and a paper clay recipe. Scroll down through my posts-the link is in there somewhere. I cooked it up, messed it up, fixed it again and now have grown quite used to it and use it regularly. So I thought I would share with you what I have learned in the process.
Then on the surface layer I would use paper clay- as we all know- it sands up beautifully, paints easily and is an all around joy to work with. I discovered along the way that if you didn't want to sand you could use a paint brush and water to smooth out the surface. That discovery led me to create a 'slip'- really watered down and mixed up paper clay which I then brush on the surface. This creates an interesting grainy finish. By the way, I have kept this slip in an airtight container in my frig. for months now, no sign of mold or mildew. I'm surprised no one has tried to eat it.
The paper clay recipe does not have the same finish as Creative Paper Clay. It is an entity of its own, truly a mix between paper mache` and Creative Paper Clay. It dries up hard. It reminds me of a cast you'd see on a broken arm. I haven't used it in final stages; I've stuck with the Creative Paper clay. But the recipe is more 'pose-able' than paper mache and I can manipulate it into small shapes such as flowers or glop it on where I need structural strength. I get more done with it for less $$$ than the Creative Paper Clay. Its a real time saver because its already mixed up and waiting for me. I have not been successful storing mixed paper mache`.
I've also found that, using the same tools I normally do I can get a fair amount of detail into the paper clay recipe. It dries fairly quickly and your working time can be extended by adding water- either spritzing it on or dabbing with a paint brush. By the way, the paper clay recipe can be smoothed out with a paint brush while still wet. It will however maintain a textural surface, don't expect it to be perfectly smooth.
I keep the paper clay recipe in a ziploc bag in the fridge next to the slip. It feels like bread dough. I actually prefer to let it set up a few days before I use it. I have a tendency to not squeeze all the water out of the TP. and usually have to add more of the other ingredients to make up for it. I don't have specific amounts to pass along. If you are used to Creative Paper Clay- keep the texture of that in mind as you make your decisions. For, myself, I enjoy making up the recipe as I feel even more creatively bonded to the future piece of work. I'm also pleasantly taken back to the time when I was a new mother as the linseed oil's fragrance reminds me of the Desitin lotion I used on my daughter's diaper rash. Just a side note there.
So there it is, a three way tie as I could not do what I do with out all three of them now. Feel free to share your experiences- I'm always up for learning new things! I'll check for spelling tomorrow, right now my former Desitin user wants to cuddle! Goodnight, all!